About Grenache and Garnacha
Grenache and Garnacha are one in the same. Grenache is one of the principal wine grapes of the Southern Rhone and the Languedoc wine regions of France. It is often used in a blend, along with Syrah, but can be 100% in bottlings in Languedoc. In Spain, the term Garnacha is used. Eastern Spain is where the grape is said to have originated. It then spread to other parts of Spain and to France. Garnacha is grown widely in Spain, but it is the Priorat and Monstant wine region where it is most famous. We also find that Grenache is becoming a very popular grape in California. It grows well in the Fair Play AVA in El Dorado County and in Paso Robles. Have you seen GSM on a wine label? Or someone may say, “It’s a GSM.” This is a common Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.
Character of Grenache or Garnacha
There are many styles of Grenache/Garnacha from light to big, robust wines. Some consider the lighter style of Grenache to be very Pinot Noir like in character. Spice and red fruit, as in cherry, raspberry and strawberry, can be identified in a Grenache wine. Grenache can also be made in a more robust style. Most often you will not find a 100% Grenache; it is usually the larger portion of a red blend. In the Priorat region of Spain, old vine Garnacha makes a more bold and robust wine. There is more intensity in the grapes, as the old vines produce fewer yields per vine. The Priorat Garnacha wines are usually not 100%, but often blended with Carignan.
Under $20 Grenache/Garnacha wines we like
Note: We will include wines that are blends but predominantly Grenache.
Foods we like with Grenache and Garnacha wines
- Paella – see recipe
- Grilled shrimp
- Rotisserie chicken
- Rib roast, steak
- Pork tenderloin
- Coq au Vin – see recipe
- Spanish Tapas
- Healthy portobello sandwich